Protect yourself from false accusations of domestic violence

Protect yourself from false accusations of domestic violence

Being accused of domestic violence can change your life forever, even if you are never convicted. It is one of those highly-publicized offenses that inspires powerful—and negative—emotions, so a mere accusation is enough to do irreparable damage to your reputation and future.

What inspires false accusations?

There are several reasons why your spouse or partner might falsely accuse you of abusing them. If the relationship is ending, then they may be trying to gain an advantage in a child custody battle. If they are emotionally unstable or believe that you have done something to slight them, then such an accusation can be a petty form of revenge.

No matter what the accuser’s motivation might be, if you suspect that you might be targeted, taking action to protect yourself is imperative. Below are some steps you can take to minimize any damage done by a malicious accusation.

Tell someone

Keep your friends and family informed about the potential accuser’s erratic behavior. These people can later tell authorities that you expressed concerns the accuser might try to harm or “get back at” you by doing something malicious.

Stay calm

No matter how angry or frustrated you get, don’t get into any aggressive confrontations with your accuser. Giving in to your emotions can only add fuel to the fire and make their claims more believable if witnesses or the police see you angry. Stay calm and don’t do anything that can make their claims more believable.

Document any threats or abuse

People who would falsely accuse others of domestic violence tend to be inclined to be abusers themselves. If your spouse or partner is physically or verbally aggressive towards you, document the evidence and show any injuries to witnesses. Their statements could save you from much time and disruption later on.

Comply with court orders

Accusations of domestic violence often result in a temporary restraining order, which can be obtained without you even knowing about it. Once it is personally served on you, it goes into effect—you have no chance to defend yourself and tell your side of the story to the judge. If this happens to you, then it is imperative that you abide by the terms of the restraining order, even though you are innocent. Whatever you do, ignore any attempts by your accuser to break the order in any way, such as meet them somewhere or come to the house.

If you are falsely accused of domestic violence, contact an experienced New York criminal defense attorney who will protect both your rights and your reputation. Left unchallenged, such accusations can set the course of your future, so engaging experienced legal counsel is both time and money well spent. Julie Rendelman served as a prosecutor in the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s office and has more than 20 years of legal experience. She is a criminal defense lawyer with an office in Midtown Manhattan and offers free consultation to those who are concerned that they may be charged with a crime as well as to their family members. If you are facing criminal accusations, be sure to contact Ms. Rendelman at 212-951-1232 without delay. Visit for more information.